My camino!

Joe reflects on the comings and goings of 2013

I know many people for whom 2013 was a very difficult year, the loss of loved ones, illness, redundancy, depression. My heart goes out to all those who have suffered and continue to suffer in body, heart, mind or soul.

For me personally 2013 was a good year not because of any major happening, great events or sudden change in fortune. It was a good year because I felt and feel much more in tune with life. Not that I don’t still experience those dark nights of the soul but generally I feel more connected to what is really important. An indigenous community in Brazil define poverty in this way: ‘You are poor when you are disconnected from the Great Spirit, when you are disconnected from community and when you don’t have enough to share’.

I find profound wisdom in this simple definition. My goal in 2013 was to recognise my own poverty and journey towards restoring right relationship with the ‘Great Spirit’, right relationship with my community, which includes family, friends, people in our local communities, people in Brazil and my relationship with the natural world. It was also to develop right relationship with material well being – to have enough to share but no more than that.

I will spend the rest of my life on this journey as I have barely begun to restore and develop all of those relationships but I now feel that I am on the camino (way), I have taken the first step. I know that keeping on the camino will involve nights in cold, dark caves; climbing steep mountains and swimming in ice cold water but I feel that my pilgrimage has begun and 2013 marks the beginning of a new beginning.

In my next post I will try to explain how the work of VinB forms an integral part of this camino.

I wish you well with your new years resolutions and wish all those connected to VinB an ‘adventurous’ 2014!

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